I have been back from retreat for ten days. The brochure for Gonzaga Retreat House at Eastern Point says something to the effect of “If you can’t find God here, you can’t find God anywhere!” and I do not think it is an exaggeration. The expanse of the ocean and massive rocky beach provided endless resources for reflection and prayer. Being near the water, for one who lives in a desert, is renewing in itself. The tides are a mystery I will never understand. Such a small moon…such power over our oceans. The pounding surf was especially wild in the wake of the remains of Hurricane Tomás that passed on the day I arrived. I could stand on the rocks and scream at the top of my lungs and not disturb my fellow retreatants. I could feel the power of the waves hitting up against the rocks resounding in my chest. I marvelled that the rocks I was sitting on didn’t shake, didn’t budge, didn’t even tremble at the force. I could feel the salty spray on my face like a baptism. But the most incredible sense of the Holy One was in the silence. It was that “tiny whispering sound” that made me take off the shoes of my soul. It is such a simple gift but one that I forget to seek in the busyness of daily life. The forty-some other retreatants gave me that gift in their keeping silence too. I knew that they were each in search of the Holy One, trying to be available as was I. Each of us came with concerns, agendas for God, prayers entrusted to us by friends. In the course of the week we never spoke to each other but as usual on these retreats, a deep communion is created in silence. I returned to my life in New Mexico full of thanks for the blessings of my life and the opportunity to have spent eight days being available to God who is always available to me.